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EMERGENCY LANDING AT CONROE AIRPORT

EMERGENCY LANDING AT CONROE AIRPORT

About 10:45 a.m,. Sunday morning Bob Covington, owner of General Aviation  Services at Conroe’s Lonestar Airport and Alicia, one of his employees decided to take a flight on this beautiful day. They lifted off at the airport in his 1965 twin engine Cessna 310. As they climbed out a buzzard narrowly missed the cockpit. About the same time Covington heard a bang below the aircraft. Knowing buzzards usually fly in groups he thought he may have struck one.

As he looked down he saw his nose gear which should have been retracted hanging down. About the same time the tower notified him of the same observation , that his nose gear was down. A light in the cockpit indicated that the gear was not locked as it should have been if it was down.

Covington notified the tower that he was declaring an emergency and was going to attempt a landing with just the main gear as he didn’t feel the nose gear was locked and would collapse as it touched the ground.

Conroe Fire Department and MCHD were dispatched to the airport in preparation of the landing. When they were ready Covington turned in approximately 3 miles from the airport and started his slow descent.

Alicia was a bit nervous but knew how experienced Covington was.

As the plane touched down the rear main gear held, but as power was reduced and the plane slowed the nose gear collapsed causing the nose to strike the ground. The engines which by now had been shut down but the propellers were still spinning as they struck the ground. Alicia opened the door as instructed and was out of the plane quickly. Covington was out next as he surveyed the damage.

Conroe Fire crews then started their work of containing the fuel leaks from both outer wing tanks. With the angle of the aircraft the tanks were overflowing. Crews using air driven pumps siphoned fuel out of each tank to a point the flow would stop.

Top make sure no additional fuel leaked out fire crews using air bags raised the aircraft to a level position and assisted safely securing the nose gear do it could be  towed off the runway which was then reopened.

Covington believes the aircraft may be totaled due to damage to the propellers and engines in addition to the nose of the aircraft.

When firefighters asked if Covington was ok he responded with, “all in a days work”.

Alicia also was unshaken by the incident and is ready to fly again.

Bob Covington, a long time member of the Confederate Air Force and is a Tora pilot has had General Aviation Services since 1982. With a new hanger they house not just PHI  Air Medical helicopters but also several large corporate jets. They also teach flying to the general public.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbIh-nlcyLA&feature=youtu.be
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